Mmmm…. Coffee! This is the mantra of many office workers. On the flip side, a lot of people tend to avoid caffeine generally for fear of addiction. The good news is that when taken sensible, caffeine can help you improve your progress when it comes to weight loss and exercise. Today’s advice comes from the world of sports science, where the amount of time and research that is put into helping achieve ultimate athletic goals is huge and researchers are always looking for ways to help athletes squeeze the last remaining drops of energy into an activity.
One such way to gather a small boost in activity is to consume some small amounts of caffeine – notice that we said “small amounts”. It is, of course, not advisable to set off running a marathon with only caffeine as your energy source, but using it to help jump start your body prior to exercise is a wise idea. Only a small amount of caffeine can get you started while your body allows time to properly process carbohydrates that take longer to convert into energy. The ultimate result is the ability to go further, longer and faster. Yippee!
The benefit of caffeine to the exerciser is optimum when it is used merely as a supplement rather as a sole energy source. These benefits include helping delay fatigue, increase body fat losses, improve overall athletic performance and even helping give a short burst of energy. Other benefits include helping increase fat burning due to the increased metabolism that is a result of caffeine. Surely that’s the goal for many recreational exercisers, right?
The bad news about caffeine is that some people try to rely on it as the sole source of energy for athletic events and activities. This is almost always a surefire recipe for disaster and will almost always result in injury or running out of energy, depending, of course, on the intensity of the activity. To combat this and truly gain benefits from caffeine usage, it is important to still consume appropriate levels of carbohydrates as well as protein.
One thing that you can do to help ensure that you are giving your body the most energy possible is to combine the use of protein, carbohydrates, and caffeine together. By ensuring that you keep the levels appropriate, you can keep the caffeine supplying your body with energy until the carbohydrates have been broken down, while the protein keeps your muscle mass firmly in place. This is a winning combination that has helped exercisers achieve the results that they desire.
On the flip side, it is best to keep away from overdosing on caffeine so that you do not become dependent on the caffeine to provide you with all of your energy needs. This can be a very dangerous and risky problem if you are consuming too much caffeine and not enough carbohydrates.
Remember, each person is different and the optimal caffeine intake is going to vary depending upon body type, energy levels and activity engaged in. Seek out your perfect caffeine level to achieve the results you want. But of course, don’t rely on it if you aren’t exercising at intense levels anyway. I should stop talking now – time to go to the kitchen to brew me a cuppa!
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Also published on Medium.
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